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Cal Poly hosts astronaut and alumnus Victor Glover for special day of learning 

NASA astronaut and Cal Poly Alumnus Victor Glover during a visit to Cal Poly on May 29, 2024. Photos by Joe Johnston/Cal Poly.

Glover met with students working on projects developing exercise regimens for astronauts

– Victor Glover, a NASA astronaut, and 1999 Cal Poly engineering graduate, spent Wednesday, May 29, on Cal Poly’s campus visiting with students, giving feedback on Learn by Doing research projects, and sharing about his experiences at Cal Poly and beyond.

“It’s always great to be here on campus,” Glover said. “Cal Poly has changed so much over the years and it’s really neat to see, but some things don’t change, like the focus on students.”

Glover met with students working on projects developing exercise regimens for astronauts, creating a model Mars rover and building an autonomous research plane. He also met with preschoolers in Cal Poly’s Preschool Learning Lab to answer questions and share about the life of an astronaut. Across the day, Glover emphasized the impact of his Cal Poly education and the importance of hands-on, interdisciplinary work Cal Poly students are engaged in.

“Interdisciplinary work is everything — it’s the way that real world problems are addressed,” Glover said. “I love seeing what the students are doing and hearing what Cal Poly does for them.

“Cal Poly students and graduates are changing the game — our space program and beyond benefits from their work.”

Cal Poly welcomes astronaut and alumnus Victor Glover for special event

NASA astronaut and Cal Poly alumnus Victor Glover works with a group of Cal Poly Engineering students who created an Autonomous Research Plane, an 11-foot wingspan, remotely controlled aircraft.

After graduating from Cal Poly, Glover served as a Navy fighter and test pilot. He is a member of the NASA astronaut class of 2013, piloted the first operational flight of the SpaceX Crew-1 dragon spacecraft Resilience and spent six months aboard the International Space Station in 2020-21 — becoming the first African American astronaut to live aboard the station. In 2023, Glover was announced as the pilot of the Artemis II mission, which is scheduled to fly around the Moon in fall 2025.

Glover met with a group of students who are developing a new, compact, comprehensive, all-in-one anaerobic exercise solution for use in a microgravity environment to counteract the muscular atrophy commonly experienced by astronauts. Glover shared his personal experience of exercising on the International Space Station.

“The machines that we exercise with are, in my opinion, the coolest technology on the space station,” said Glover. “They are truly engineering and scientific accomplishments.”

Glover also met with a team of students constructing a model Mars rover for the Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge. In his feedback to the student groups, Glover shared experiences from his time on the International Space Station and his training to help the students with their projects, including considering the effects of radiation in space, the variant structures of dust and other particles and how they behave outside of Earth’s atmosphere and the nuances of working within different levels of gravity.

“Everything he shared with us was very helpful and it was great to hear from someone with such expertise,” said student Jake Brajevich from the microgravity exercise team. “What we’re working toward is what he’ll be experiencing on his mission.”

Glover also visited Cal Poly’s Preschool Learning Lab and answered questions about his daily life and activities aboard the International Space Station. Glover also quizzed the children on their space and astronomy knowledge.

Glover then spent time with students who are creating a remotely controlled autonomous research plane equipped with sensors for data collection. Glover offered thoughts on how the team could reduce the weight of the plane and heard from the students on how the craft had developed across their senior year.

Glover relates his first-hand experience living on the International Space Station to a Cal Poly Engineering student group working on a project designing exercise equipment and regimen for astronauts living in zero-gravity.

“When I speak with and hear from our students, it’s like I’m in a room with NASA engineers,” Glover said. “They are doing real, in-depth engineering — and I hope and encourage them to keep doing what they are doing.”

Wednesday’s visit was a continuation of Glover’s commitment to Cal Poly. Since graduating, he has served on Cal Poly’s College of Engineering Advancement and Advisory Board and the Cal Poly Athletic Directors Council, in addition to his many visits to campus.

“Cal Poly alumni are making an incredible impact across the globe and across so many different fields,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “Victor Glover is a stellar example not only this impact but also of our alumni community’s willingness and passion to give back to Cal Poly and our students.”

 

About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@accesspublishing.com.

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